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Jan 15, 2009, 2:05 PM

Post #1 of 6 (13939 views)


What did you do with your Chayote today?

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Chayote looks to be such a versatile vegetable. But I'm only just getting to know it, and don't know what to do with it besides steam or grill it. Anybody want to share their favorite (easy) ways to prep it?

When all the other vegetables at the store look sad, the chayote looks ready to roll. It's so abundant. Thanks!

(This post was edited by tashby on Jan 15, 2009, 2:06 PM)


Jan 15, 2009, 4:25 PM

Post #2 of 6 (13921 views)


Re: [tashby] What did you do with your Chayote today?

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Google merliton for some ideas. That is the name they use in New Orleans. A friend from there stuffs them with shrimp or crab, very yummy! Here's an Emeril recipe to give you an idea:


Jan 15, 2009, 4:57 PM

Post #3 of 6 (13914 views)


Re: [tashby] What did you do with your Chayote today?

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Chayote a la Cristina

2 or 3 good-size chayotes
1 medium white onion
4 to 6 very ripe Roma tomatoes
1 or 2 chiles serrano, depending on your tolerance for picante
1 clove garlic
2 small sprigs fresh oregano
tiny pinch dried thyme
1 bay leaf
chicken broth
1 heaping tsp Knorrsuiza tomate (you didn't hear that from me)
3 or 4 Tbsp olive oil

Cut the chayotes in quarters lengthwise, skin, soft white seed and all. Slice the quarters in 3/4" slices. Dice the onion in 1/2" dice. Finely mince the chiles and the garlic. Quarter the tomatoes as you did the chayote.

In a heavy skillet or flame-proof casserole, heat the olive oil and add the onion, garlic, and chiles. Saute over a medium flame until soft. Add the tomatoes and continue sauteeing until the tomatoes begin to give up their juices. Add the chayotes and mix with the ingredients already in the pan. Add the herbs.

Add enough chicken broth to make everything good and moist without being liquid. Bring all to a simmer and add the (gasp) Knorrsuiza. Stir well.

Cover and simmer until the chayote is tender. Add salt if you need to, but you won't need to.

Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish.

Emeril wishes he had thought this up.

(This post was edited by esperanza on Jan 15, 2009, 4:58 PM)


Jan 16, 2009, 9:45 AM

Post #4 of 6 (13883 views)


Re: [tashby] What did you do with your Chayote today?

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Not quite the same as the chayote fruit, but raz de chayote en salsa colorada is a Lenten specialty. One version stuffs it with cheese before dipping in egg batter and frying, but I've not been foortunate to have tried that yet.



Jan 18, 2009, 9:37 AM

Post #5 of 6 (13848 views)


Re: [tashby] What did you do with your Chayote today?

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You're right, chayotes are amazingly versatile. Anything you can do with a zucchini, you can do with a chayote...well, except maybe making quick bread with it. I don't think chayote bread would be so hot. Also try Googling christophine or merliton (both of which it is called in the Louisiana) and you'll get additional suggstions. Here are some ideas you can use as a jumping off point...

- Cook whole, unpeeled chayote until about 3/4 of the way done. Drain, split in half and carefully remove the seed (which is edible and delicious). Gently scoop our some of the pulp to make a shell. Fill hollow with your favorite picadillo recipe to which you've added the the chayote flesh you scopped out, top with bread crumbs and a little grated hard cheese (like parmesan or romano), bake until heated through and the cheese has melted.

- Peel, pit and slice chayote. Cook until done but not mushy. Top with Esperanza's rajas con crema and eat. You can gratinee this if you top it with cheese and run it under the broiler, but that's really like gilding the lily and ridiculously rich.

- Slowly saute coarsely chopped chayote in butter with some onion until the edges carmelize and get crispy, add a chopped (fresh) chile pepper of your choice towards the end of the cooking time, season with salt, pepper and whatever herbs you'd like. This works well with beef dishes

- Add it to rice. Try this. Heat oil in the saucepan you plan to cook the rice in until hot. Toss in a large green chile (or two) and fry, turning from time to time until the chile has blistered. Remove and set aside, do not discard the oil. Chop up half a white onion and blend in a blender with up to a half cup of water and garlic cloves to taste (probably 3 or 4, more if you really like garlic) until you've got a smooth puree. Reheat the oil in the saucepan, add the rice and saute over medium heat until it is transparent but not browned. If there is excess oil left in the pan, just drain it off. Add the onion puree and continue sauteeing for about another minute until the rice has absorbed the onion mixture. Then stir in a chayote that has been peeled and chopped, a carrot or two that has been shredded and the reserved chile. Add water, cover and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed. There are a lot of vegetables in this rice dish; it could be used as a meatless main dish with a little tweaking.

- In Veracruz they make an agua fresca from chayotes, seasoning it with a good dose of freshly squeezed lime juice

- In many places the vines on which the chayotes grow are used for soup, and it is delicious.

My sister gave me The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg for Christmas. It's a book by food industry professionals that outlines cooking techniques and flavor combinations by food/ingredient from A to Z. I've been trying some of their suggestions and finding it to be a tremendous resource. Here's what they list for squash like chayote

For technique - bake, blanch, boil, braise, deep fry, grill, saute, steam and stir-fry
Highly recommended combinations - basil, cheese (goat, gruyere, mozz and Parm), chile peppers, garlic, marjoram, olive oil, onions, oregano, flat leaf parsley, sage and thyme
Other compatible flavors - butter, cinnamon, coconut, coriander, corn, cream cumin, dill, eggplant, lemon juice, mint, black mustard seeds, pecans, black pepper, rosemary, salt, Italian sausage, tomatoes, turmeric, walnuts and yogurt.

Chayotes are so neutral in flavor, and pretty forgiving as an ingredient, that you can do just about anything with them. Good luck, use your imagination and try some of the suggested cooking methods and flavors above. But above all, just have fun in the kitchen experimenting


Jan 19, 2009, 8:10 PM

Post #6 of 6 (13810 views)


Re: [Gayla] What did you do with your Chayote today?

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Thanks Gayla, and MazDee and esperanza and Anonimo! This is *just exactly* what I was looking for. Tons of ideas.

Doesn't look like the Chayotes in my life will get lonely any time soon.

And Wednesday is Tianguis......perfect!

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